Spiritual Gem Mining

IMG_0488At one time or another, I’m sure we have all seen an invention or business model and wondered why we didn’t come up with that concept.

The one at the top of my list has to be gem mining! You might be thinking of the current reality television show where people actually explore and dig for hidden treasure. My favorite form of gem mining is found in the mountains of North Carolina, just a few yards from the side of the road.

I remember John referring to the steady stream of cars from the sunshine state heading to the mountains in the summer. A caravan of “floridiots” clogging mountain communities! Sure enough, the plates on the cars lined up at gem mines all seemed to be from Florida.

The concept is simple: fill various size buckets with dirt and mud (while being sure to include a semi-precious stone or two) for tourists to “mine” for treasure! Why oh why didn’t I think of this! I remember sitting in line with family and friends as we panned for treasure in the water which flowed down the wooden trough. I believe we even coined the term “lucky mud” when one of us would find something amazing!

Are we looking for spiritual gems? Last weekend, I was talking with Sharron about how we can never know what word or phrase might be received at just the right moment! The same is true for our conversations as we gently witness to a hurting world.

I so appreciate everyone who takes the time to be here as we continue to discover and share God’s gems: grace, love, acceptance and hope.

My prayer for today is to look for spiritual gems and know we have an opportunity to share them. The joy is in the discovery! The blessing, when shared!

The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.”

- Charles Kuralt

Care Casting

228Should have. Could have. Wish I would have. Why didn’t I? More struggling today which has me searching for comfort. I prayed for comfort and release from my neurotic thinking which only results in me feeling worse than the day before. I got so worried, I looked up the definition of neurotic: A person who is always fearful or worried about something.

My fears and worry hurt me and help not a single person. The sad reality is when I live in fear and with worry, I completely miss the moment. I completely miss opportunity. The present is replaced with anxiety about the future or the past.

I needed some strong medicine this evening. God guided me to the words and wisdom of St. John of the Cross:

“Live in faith and hope, though it be in darkness, for in this darkness, God protects the soul. Cast your care upon God for you are His and He will not forget you. Do not think that He is leaving you alone, for that would be to wrong Him.”

On our walk of faith, we will have an opportunity to talk with people who need this assurance. The assurance of God’s love, acceptance and hope for our lives.

 

Way and Time

DSCF2832My struggle with self-doubt continues. After meeting with Cheri last weekend and signing the contract for my next book, I expected to have a week of energetic progress as I complete the new devotional days.

I didn’t write a single word. I didn’t edit a single page. The old familiar whispered taunts from the enemy returned: “No one cares if you write another book…why are you doing this…who do you think you are?”

Last night at church, the message focused on allowing God to heal our hurts and wounds.

This morning during my talk with God, I was given a completely different title for one of the days I am writing. This particular day is going to honor an amazing young woman with a powerful testimony. I have the pleasure of knowing  her and so appreciated listening to her describe her faith journey.

One of the words in the new title: Determined. Determined! DETERMINED! One definition of determined includes the description of one who is not weak or uncertain!

God’s guidance was far more than a title for a devotional day!

My prayer for us today is to display a determined faith! Let us not be weak or uncertain! Proclaim victory over an enemy who seeds doubt and destruction. Spend time with God. Be obedient to His will and way.

“The gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.”

- St. Rose of Lima

The Day After Christmas In July

DSCF2813Yesterday, I joined Kat, Kerry and Sharron at a Christmas in July craft show. Sitting with my friends and fellow authors always makes for a great day as we usually don’t have opportunities to visit. I enjoyed seeing the reaction of people walking by as I  wished them an enthusiastic Merry Christmas!

I’m sure we can all relate to the excitement (some might call it stress) which builds as Christmas approaches. I have been thinking about the time on Christmas day when all the presents have been open and everyone seems to take a deep breath. Perhaps to get ready for a wonderful dinner with family and friends. On the day after Christmas, I find myself filled with appreciation for gifts, given and received. Filled with appreciation for a most wonderful day.

My prayer time included a question last night: Am I really appreciating each day?

On my walk of faith, I fall short. I don’t appreciate every day and often find myself looking forward to a day on the calendar rather than enjoying the moment. By engaging in this foward thinking, I somehow convince myself that a future day will be better than this one. If it would only hurry up and get here!

My prayer today is one of appreciation and perspective. I pray for us to talk with God about His perspective for this day…His day and to sincerely appreciate our gifts. God’s gifts of grace, love, acceptance and hope.

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one.”

- St. Teresa of Avila

 

 

Foundation

DSCF3710“As the rejected stone becomes the foundation”

- Daniel Trosper

As I listened to Dan read this line last night, I realized how import it is for us to truly know this is possible.

On my walk of faith, I have met people who feel rejected. Rejected by the church…rejected by their family…rejected by their friends. I believe we can all relate to rejection. I certainly can.

“As the rejected stone becomes the foundation”

What I love about this is the concept of transformation. Rejection does not remain. Rejection becomes…

My prayer this evening is for us to know that rejection can be transforming.

Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.”

- St. Thomas Aquinas

 

Christmas In July

IMG_1016It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! This weekend, I will be joining some of my writing pals at a Christmas in July craft show. It’s going to be fun to see Christmas decorations and enjoy the holiday spirit! Within a matter of weeks, some of the big box stores will be displaying holiday merchandise. Just this weekend I was talking with my daughters about doing some Christmas shopping!

Speaking of gifts…earlier this month, I asked for help in deciding if a particular day should be included in my next book. Thank you to everyone who voted! The winner of my next book is Melissa (please click on my “about” link and email your real mail address so I can send your book in September as soon as I have my copies).

It is a good morning for me to focus on God’s gifts. I have struggled this week with self-doubt. When I have these battles, the “should have” and “could have” messages loop endlessly in my thoughts which only keep me stuck.

As I talked with God this morning about my walk of faith, I was reminded to focus on the sub-title for new book:

Love

Acceptance

Hope

My prayer for today is to give thanks for God’s gifts. For us to know His love, acceptance and hope for our lives.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

- Norman Vincent Peale

It’s Going To Be

DSCF3046It’s going to be (fill in the blank).

Over the years, I spent too much time being critical of me. I would harshly judge my perceived failures and would doubt what I wanted to do. Not a pleasant place to be….unhappy with the past and fearing the future.

The tragedy of living like that is missing the peace of the present moment.

Recently, some of those thoughts returned as I work to finish my next book. Unpleasant, self-defeating thoughts.

When I talked with God about this, I received “It’s going to be….” and then God asked me, “What do you think I would say?” Wonderful question! As I started to fill in the blank, it is so obvious! Would God say:

It’s going to be terrible. It’s going to be a waste of time. It’s going to be useless. Of course not!

What I realize (again) is if I continue to write to glorify God, it is going to be awesome!

On our walk of faith, we may have the opportunity to talk with people who are facing regrets about their past and fearful of their future. We have an opportunity to be with them in the present moment where we can pray together and be blessed by God’s presence. We will have an opportunity to let them know…it truly is going to be ok…as we discover and share God’s grace, love, acceptance and hope.

“I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps on doing them until he gets a record of succesful experience behind him.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt